Standard Historical Last Updated: Nov 18, 2021
ASTM D4610-98(2017)

Standard Guide for Determining the Presence of and Removing Microbial (Fungal or Algal) Growth on Paint and Related Coatings

Significance and Use

3.1 Microbial growth is a major cause of discoloration and deterioration of paint films. This guide describes techniques used to distinguish fungi and algae from other surface contaminants.

3.2 Repainting a surface contaminated with fungi or algae generally causes more rapid infestation of the new paint than repainting a surface from which fungal or algal growth has been removed. In addition, poor adhesion, staining/bleeding, and many other problems may result. This guide describes methods for removing fungal or algal growth prior to repainting.

Note 1: It is extremely important that all steps and notes be read and followed. In particular the washing steps outlined in 5.2.2 and 5.2.4 must be fully carried out, since residual sodium hypochlorite (bleach) can cause many of the same problems, or even loss of coloration after repainting, and residual phosphate detergents can encourage further fungal and algal growth.

Note 2: This procedure is intended for use when recoating the surface. Reports of using this procedure to remove fungi and algae without recoating necessitate inclusion of a warning about the adverse effects of bleach on a coating film. The oxidative effects of bleach can degrade film properties, including particularly the “bleaching” (loss of color) in films containing organic coloring pigments (such as quinacridones, etc.), loss of gloss, chalking, etc. A small patch must be tested prior to use of this procedure for that purpose.


1.1 This guide describes techniques used for determining the presence of fungal or algal growth on paint and related coatings and methods for removal of such growth prior to recoating.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 06.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D01.28
Pages: 2
DOI: 10.1520/D4610-98R17
ICS Code: 87.040